TV/ DVD

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ditsjets7

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 5, 2017
Posts
196
Location
Woodstock, NY
Hi all,

So we are planning the biggest trip of our lives this summer with our class C motor home. We will be leaving Woodstock, NY in mid July, going as far west as West Yellowstone, coming back through Hramd Tetons, hole and Rocky Mountaon National Park.

I was thinking of installing a TV/ DVD player over the Dining table. One of the ones that flip down and flip up. Like the ones you install on your kitchen under the cabinets. The question I have is this. Is there a way to hard wire a unit like that so that it can run off the battery/alternator of the vehicle while we are driving? Or do they make special ones for RVs that plug into the 12 volt cigarette lighter outlier? Thanks in advance!

Mike
 
Yes they do make 12 volt TVs.

https://www.amazon.com/TVD1805-22-22-Inch-Features-Technology-Function/dp/B07BWP463J/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1550350356&sr=1-3&keywords=12+volt+tv
 
Something else you might want to consider is to just use a 10 or 12 inch tablet. They're very common, easy to use, and you don't have to do any special wiring. I don't know of any that will play DVDs, but they stream very well.


We have a 30 inch flat screen TV in our travel trailer, and we do use it. However, I also use my 10-inch tablet frequently. A tablet with a Bluetooth speaker makes a good and portable entertainment device.
 
I have a portable external CD/DVD player with a USB which plugs into my laptop.  It can play either CD or DVD.  Bigger screen than a tablet.
 
You may not need a 12v model, per se. My Samsung TV runs on 19v, but I power it using a DC-DC converter that turns 12v battery in 19v for the TV. The key here is finding a TV that has an external power supply. If it's just a cord that plug into the wall, then you're hosed. :)
 
SuperSonic is a lightweight TV with a great picture. I have it plugged into an external speaker so the sound is great, too. Even without that, the sound isn?t too bad. I found out you need to select ?source? and then ?DVD? in order for the DVD player to accept the disc you insert. It worked great and uses very little power. I have an RV and it?s nice to not have to start up the generator to watch TV.
 
ditsjets7 said:
Is there a way to hard wire a unit like that so that it can run off the battery/alternator of the vehicle while we are driving? Or do they make special ones for RVs that plug into the 12 volt cigarette lighter outlier? Thanks in advance!

Mike
Your coach batteries will be charging from your alternator while driving, so no need to wire to your engine battery.
 
My suggestion is to buy whatever model you find that fits the space and has the features you want (good viewing angle, screen size, etc.) then worry about power later.  If it has a DC input you may be able to power it directly from a lighter socket, if not then just get a DC-DC converter, or an inverter.  Some people will argue that inverters and DC-DC converters are inefficient, but the truth is a modern inverter is between 85-95% efficient at converting power, so you don't take that big of hit.  Also it seems many "RV" tv's with 12V DC input are older designs that are less power efficient than newer AC input only models, so even then you may save power by using an inverter.  As to the DVD side, I don't even have a DVD player in my motorhome, and have not used the one at my house in a couple of years, instead I stream everything.  The problem is on the road you need a good data plan,  to stream as most RV campgrounds don't provide fast enough internet to be able to stream.  The good news is a few high limit data plans have been showing up on the market in the last few weeks from T-Mobile, and Verizon, though I have not looked at the details.  Then there is always other options like OTR Mobile, ...
 
Isaac-1 said:
As to the DVD side, I don't even have a DVD player in my motorhome, and have not used the one at my house in a couple of years, instead I stream everything.  The problem is on the road you need a good data plan,  to stream as most RV campgrounds don't provide fast enough internet to be able to stream. 

Both Netflix and Amazon Prime will let you download to a PC which you can then connect via HDMI to your TV.  If you can download enough stuff at home you'll be good, but otherwise even a slow campground WIFI should let you download and then watch later (probably especially if the download goes overnight).  Ditto with your smartphone as a hotspot for the computer, but you'll be up against data limits.

I forget, but either Netflix or Amazon allows you do specify the image quality, which you could do to save space on the computer, download time and/or data cap limits.
 
Mike, Lots of options but if you look at the location of most TVs in class C units they are in the front bunk on the front wall on a swivel mount. Below, are the stairs which normally contains the coach battery.

I use an inexpensive alligator clip to cigarette adapter to a 300 watt inverter and power strip. I keep the inverter on the bed and mounted the power strip to the wall.

It's easy because whether you're driving, plugged in or not everything works.

With no primary motor, generator or not plugged in, our 100 Ah coach battery will run both TVs for about two hours. If we're boondocking, we don't use TVs. My wife is on her Kindle and I'm on my Surface Pro until we fall asleep. It will charge everything, run the lights, flush the toilet.

A great thing about having an inverter is they beep when your coach battery needs a charge (ours does). You need the generator for the coffee maker, toaster, microwave, electric skillet. Every time you run the generator you're also charging the coach battery.

The AC is the worst in really hot weather.

Note: We use our phones as hot spots so that's very little power as well.
 
The do indeed make 12 volt units. In fact many of the 120 volt units use power "Bricks" and a good number of those bricks say 12 volt but may run as "Hot" as 15 no load (very poor regulation)
If you are worried about the difference between 12 and battery voltage (12.6 to about 14.6 depending on converter state) There are ways to "Buck" it a bit.. But my portable DVD (7" screen) eats battery power direct.. Plays CDs too (what I use it for in the car this time of year)
 

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